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Easy Marinara Sauce

The first couple days of eating a vegan diet we're pretty difficult for me. I was constantly struggling to find things I could eat. I grew up eating meat and dairy with every meal, so every dish I learned to cook from my mother and grandmother was pretty much out the window. But then I started to think about some of my favorite foods growing up and how I could veganize those meals. One of my absolute favorite comfort foods growing up was spaghetti with meat sauce, covered in parmesan cheese. My mother used to make her own sauce, which was absolutely delicious. I just modified a few things to make it vegan took out the meat and parmesan as well as the sugar (most sugar is vegan, I just decided to omit it for this recipe). My mom used to occasionally add sugar to her sauce, just like many of the jarred sauces you can buy at the grocery store. I don't know about you, but if I'm going to eat sugar I'd prefer to eat it in my cookies and cupcakes, not hidden in a savory sauce.

When I tested my moms new and improved recipe, I was hooked. This sauce is so simple and delicious. You can make a big batch and keep it in the freezer to have on hand when you need it. And if you're really missing the parm, there are vegan options out there. Or just do what I like to do and grind up some pine nuts, salt and a bit of nutritional yeast in a food processor and sprinkle that on top. And if you're missing the ground beef, guess what? Youre in luck. There are plenty of vegan ground beef options to choose from. Just cook according to the package instructions and add to the sauce. One of my favorites these days is from Beyond Meat. But lately, I've been enjoying simpler recipes free of processed vegan meats. The simpler, the better if you ask me.

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What you'll need

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small yellow onion, diced (about cup)

3 cloves garlic, minced (you may use less if you'd like but I'm a big fan of garlic)

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 28oz can San Marzano tomatoes with basil*

additional salt to taste

*If you can't find the canned San Marzano tomatoes with basil, you can use the plain San Marzano tomatoes and add about 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil to your sauce after blending, just before serving.

Step 1 Heat the olive oil in a medium dutch oven or soup pot, whatever you have on hand.

Step 2 Prep your ingredients. While the oil heats in the pan, dice the onion and set aside in a small bowl. Mince the garlic and set aside (keep separate from the onion). Open the can of tomatoes and set aside. Do not drain!

Step 3 Add the onion and oregano to the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Saute the onion for approximately 5 minutes, stirring frequently so the onions don't stick to the pan. Add the minced garlic and saute 2-3 more minutes until softened and slightly browned, stirring constantly to prevent the garlic from burning.

Step 4 Add the tomatoes and their juices to the pan and stir to combine. Simmer for 3-5 minutes or until the tomatoes are heated through.

Step 5 Using an immersion blender, blend all ingredients until smooth. Your sauce should now look something like this

Season with more salt to taste and serve immediately.

 

If you don't have an immersion blender you may use a regular blender instead. Be careful not to over blend the mixture. You don't want the sauce to come out too thin. Another option, if you prefer a chunkier sauce, would be to crush the tomatoes with a wooden spoon or your hands as you add them to the pot. I prefer using an immersion blender if you have one because I find it produces a lovely velvety texture without over processing and making the sauce too thin and soupy, which can happen if you aren't careful when using a regular blender.

Im pretty traditional in serving this fabulous sauce. I enjoy it best served with whole wheat spaghetti, roasted veggies (in this case, roasted zucchini) and some hearty fresh bread to soak it all up.

Sauce can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week and in the freezer for up to 6 months if stored in an airtight container.

Buon appetito!

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Posted in Renovations Post Date 03/25/2017


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